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Forth Boat Tours
 
 
Forth Boat Tours operate combined bus and boat tours from the Waverley Bridge in Edinburgh. It is, of course, possible to join the boat at South Queensferry as I did, having travelled out by train. The Forth Belle was originally the Poole Belle on the South Coast. She operates 75 minute cruises form the Hawes Pier at South Queensferry, allowing optional landing on Inchcolm.
 
 
Contacts:-
Phone: 0870 118 1866
Web: www.forthtours.com
 
Sections on this Page:-
Forth Belle
Forth Belle Publicity
Postcards
2008 Brochure
2008 Poster
Forth Belle Tour Buses - Connecting bus from Edinburgh Waverley
Firth of Forth Islands - Islands photographed from Forth boat trips
Wildlife - Seals and birds seen on Firth of Forth boat trips
 
Brochure Archive:-
2008 Brochure - Adobe PDF File (1.2 Mbytes)
 
Scotland - East Coast Pages:-
Forth Boat Tours - this page
Edinburgh Photo Diary
Maid of the Forth
 
Associated Pages:-
UK Excursion Ships
Ferry Postcards
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates
Simplon Postcards - Home Page
 
References:-
Trip Out Guides - Written and published by G.P.Hamer - editions from 1977 to 2007
Trip Out Guides are available from Geoffrey Hamer, PO Box 485, Southall, UB1 9BH
en.wikipedia.org
 
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Forth Boat Tours
 
 
Forth Belle
 
Forth Boat Tours operate combined bus and boat tours from the Waverley Bridge in Edinburgh. It is, of course, possible to join the boat at South Queensferry as I did, having travelled out by train. The Forth Belle was originally the Poole Belle on the South Coast. She operates 75 minute cruises form the Hawes Pier at South Queensferry, allowing optional landing on Inchcolm.
 
Phone: 0870 118 1866
Web: www.forthtours.com
 
 
Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Note the different name styles on each side of the bow - Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle leaving Inchcolm
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle leaving Inchcolm
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle leaving Inchcolm
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle leaving Inchcolm
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle leaving Inchcolm
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle at South Queensferry
Photo: © Peter Lamb, 2nd August 2009
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Forth Belle - Photo:  Peter Lamb, 2nd August 2009





Forth Belle Tour Buses
 
Connecting bus at Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 23rd September 2008
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Connecting bus at Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 23rd September 2008
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Connecting bus at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Connecting bus at South Queensferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Forth Belle Publicity
 
Postcards
 
Forth Belle official postcard FBT-3
Photo: © Bob Marshall / BMMedia - www.bmmedia.co.uk
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Forth Belle official postcard FBT-2
Photo: © Bob Marshall / BMMedia - www.bmmedia.co.uk
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Forth Belle official postcard FBT-1
Photo: © Bob Marshall / BMMedia - www.bmmedia.co.uk
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2008 Poster
 
Forth Belle poster at South Queensferry
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2008 Brochure
 
2008 Brochure - Open as PDF File (1.2 Mbytes)
Click on any page to open a larger image in a new window
 
 
 
 
 
 
Firth of Forth Islands
 
The following images were taken from both Forth Belle and Maid of the Forth
 
 
Inchcolm
 
Inchcolm lies in the Firth of Forth off the south coast of Fife opposite Braefoot Bay, east of the Forth Bridge, south of Aberdour, Fife, and north of the City of Edinburgh. It is separated from the Fife mainland by a stretch of water known as Mortimer's Deep. The island forms part of the parish of Aberdour, and lies a quarter of a mile from the shore. In the days when people were compelled to cross the Firth of Forth by boat as opposed to bridge, the island was a great deal less isolated, and on the ferry routes between Leith/Lothian and Fife.
 
It was supposedly visited by St Columba in 567, and was named after him in the 12th century. It may have served the monks of the Columban family as an "Iona of the east" from early times. King Alexander I was marooned on the island in 1123, and was said to have been looked after by one . Alexander decided to make the island the site of an Augustinian monastery. The surviving remains of St Colm's Abbey are under the care of Historic Scotland. The pier at Hawkcraig was built in 1866.
 
During both the First World War and the Second World War, Inchcolm was fortified, like many of the other islands of the Forth, in order to defend Edinburgh-Leith and the naval base at Rosyth. In addition to the battery of guns, 576 Cornwall Works Company, Royal Engineers, built a tunnel under the hill at the east end of the island. The tunnel is dated 1916-17. The remains of a NAAFI still remain.
 
 
Inchcolm - St Colm's Abbey
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inchcolm - St Colm's Abbey
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inchcolm - St Colm's Abbey
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inchcolm - St Colm's Abbey and quay
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inchcolm - St Colm's Abbey
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inchcolm - St Colm's Abbey and navigation lights
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inchcolm - St Colm's Abbey
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inch Garvie
 
Inch Garvie’s fortifications predate the modern period. In the days when boats were the only way to cross the Firth of Forth, the island was on the main route between North Queensferry in Fife and South Queensferry in Lothian. This made it strategically important. It was near Roman forts at Cramond and Bo'ness, at the end of the Antonine Wall.
 
Inch Garvie was the site of a castle built by King James IV circa 1490. In 1497, the island was (along with Inchkeith, a few miles away) used as an isolated refuge for victims of the syphilis in Edinburgh. Between 1519 and 1671, the island was the site of a prison within the castle. In 1779, however, the island had its fortifications renewed once more, in response to the threat posed by John Paul Jones, American Naval Commander, who harassed British ships from a base in the Forth.
 
In 1878, the foundations for Thomas Bouch's Forth Rail Bridge were laid on Inchgarvie (and their bricks remain), but after the Tay Bridge Disaster, these plans were abandoned, and the island languished until the west end of the island was extended with a pier, and used as the foundation for one of the Forth Bridge's cantilevers. The island, due to its proximity to the bridge, was also used as a construction office for the bridge, as well as accommodation for its workers within the re-roofed castle buildings. Some of the stone from the former castle was used to help build the caissons of the Forth Bridge.
 
 
Inch Garvie forts
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inch Garvie forts
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inch Garvie forts
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inch Garvie forts
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inch Garvie forts
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inchkeith
 
Inchkeith has had a colourful history as a result of its proximity to Edinburgh and strategic location for use as home for a lighthouse and for military purposes defending the Firth of Forth from attacks from shipping, and more recently protecting the upstream Forth Road Bridge, and Rosyth Dockyard. Inchkeith has by some accounts has been inhabited (intermittently) for almost 1800 years. The island has had various fortifications built and destroyed over the years, and was fought over by the English and Scots. Its garrison consisted of Italian mercenaries under the English Earl of Somerset in 1547, and these were replaced by a French garrison after the 'English' were ejected. The French were removed and the fort destroyed after the execution of Mary Queen of Scots.
 
Inchkeith Lighthouse, designed and built by Thomas Smith and Robert Stevenson, was finished in 1804 on the site of the old fort. The light stands 67 metres high. Inchkeith continued to be fortified in the subsequent years, both from fear of Napoleonic invasion, and later the two World Wars, like the other islands in the inner Firth of Forth. In 1878, the Royal Engineers built batteries on the three corners of the island, designed as separate fortresses.
 
Post-WW2, defences were dismantled commencing late 1945. By 1956/7, all military use of the island ceased, and ownership passed over to the Northern Lighthouse Board, who performed a variety of renovations on the island from the early 1960s onwards. In 1986 the lightkeepers were withdrawn when the lighthouse was automated and the owners, the Northern Lighthouse Board, sold the island to the millionaire philanthropist Sir Tom Farmer, best known for founding Kwik-Fit.
 
 
 
Inchkeith, behind the Oxcars Lighthouse. The Inchkeith lighthouse is also visible
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Inchmickery
 
Inchmickery is tiny, only 100 metres by 200 metres. During World War II the island was used as a gun emplacement. The concrete buildings make the island look (from a distance) like a battleship. The island is now uninhabited, and is an RSPB reserve.
 
 
Inchmickery
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Oxcars Lighthouse
 
Oxcars Lighthouse
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Oxcars Lighthouse
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Oxcars Lighthouse
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Car Craig
 
Car Craig
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Wildlife
 
The following images were taken from both Forth Belle and Maid of the Forth
 
 
Seals seen from Maid of the Forth
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Seals seen from Forth Belle
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Seals on the Haystack rocks - seen from Forth Belle
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Seals seen from Forth Belle
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Seals seen from Forth Belle
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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Birds seen from Maid of the Forth
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd September 2008
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